liver Mackay and Chrissie Trabucco have transformed El Joyero into Lowlands. After gutting, painting and reworking parts of the establishment with furnishing touches obtained from The Manufactory nearby, Lowlands has cropped up as a crisp, light-filled option for the summer months. A change is as good as a holiday as they say.
A significantly more detailed and spacious area now seats additional northside locals both inside and out in the luminous new courtyard. Being the adept caffeine connoisseurs that Mackay and Trabucco are, six distinctive brewing methods are also implemented on the Lowlands buzz machine – their new-fangled two group Synesso Hydra.
From espresso, French press, syphon, pour over, aeropress to cold drip, all techniques work away to provide clientele with a collection of single origin coffees sourced from Small Batch Roasters. The El Salvador (Finca Malacara) red honey processed blend is a clear standout on a Synesso, which focuses on pressure profiling and experimentation like no other.
The Iced Cold Press, delivered after a lengthy drip process, is frosty, black and revitalising, as is the freshly squeezed orange juice and carbonated Jarritos offerings.
Lowlands’ sophisticated tea range and its updated breakfast (fig and apricot fruit loaf completed with homemade lemon curd) and lunch options (pressed roti with whiskey tomatoes, provolone and pancetta) are added triumphs. From India Assam/English Breakfast, reworked Chai with green cardamom and Assam black tea, to China White, Black, Red and Oolong (Tie Guan Yin), the tea here is insanely significant.
Oolong’s woody, earthy orchid fragrance, sourced from the southernmost parts of the Fujian province is steeped for four minutes at 95 per cent and hit with a double infusion to draw out the tang. Meanwhile the Burma Oolong (Shan Plateau) is a wood-fired, buttery masterwork.
The shirred eggs with asparagus, cumin yoghurt, coriander and fried pumpkin seeds are a gooey delight, whereas the poached eggs served with fragrant peas, spiked Kewpie mayonnaise and fried shallots are yet another inspired culinary invention – much like the triple layered ‘Cracker’ sandwich stuffed with baked banana, pistachio custard and house jam. Sweet.
923 High Street, Thornbury
(03) 9480 1635
Tues to Sun 7.30am–5pm